Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Congress uses handy word for weighty matter

stevenson column sig 2

By
From page A8 | November 27, 2012 | 1 Comment

Some of you, fewer and fewer every year, will remember watching Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life.”  If one of the contestants – usually a husband and wife – happened to mention the “secret word” – the duck would drop down with a $50 bill. Unfortunately, I have no $50 bill for the winner, because any of you could figure out the answer with the help of Google.

There’s been a “secret” word that has not become so secret recently, and it’s a word that many of us would not have been familiar with six months. Telling you what it is won’t do you much good in terms of how it’s actually used in Washington, but I’ll give it a try.

First, I’ll give you the various meanings, than you tell me what the key word is. Here we go:

1. “an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated . . .”

2. ”In Monday night’s third and final presidential debate on foreign policy, President Obama said the deep cuts to the military that are . . .”

3. “(——–) was never intended to be good fiscal policy. It was never intended to be policy, period.”

4. “The Pentagon is soaking up most of the attention around the looming budget cuts that would take place at the start of the new year . . .”

Do you give up, or perhaps you’ve known it all along. I sort of did, but I was wrong. Here’s a sort-of answer from Google: A sequestration is a fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit. It’s usage, in fact the word itself, is new, because it first showed up in the recent Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit resolution.

I spend so much time on the word “sequestration” because it seems to be on the lips of every congressman and in the text of every budget document. To see just how common was the usage – and why I didn’t understand the current usage – I turned to the American Heritage dictionary, Fourth Edition. The first meaning for sequester – the preferred, if you will – is “to cause to withdraw into seclusion.” In law, it means seizure of property. Another meaning is seizure of property to insure payment of debts. Sheeesh, I’d have nothing left.

The question I ask, only half-seriously, is when an important, politically charged issue is being discussed, and perhaps voted on, is it a coincidence that Congress uses a key word that seems to obfuscate the subject? For what are they talking about? Only one of the most sensitive topics you could imagine.

Congress is arguing over wither to trim the deficit, first of all, by cutting the budget. And some of the budget cuts would come from entitlements, most likely for those not old enough to receive them yet. If they actually agree to cut Social Security and Medicare, a battle royale will break loose.

Now can you see why the handy word “sequestration” is being used?

Bud Stevenson, a stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at Bsteven254@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • RichNovember 27, 2012 - 11:33 am

    Firstly, I believe all of us regardless of perspective, can agree that the fruitless go-nowhere war needs to be concluded. If were not going to expeditiously and decisely win it, then to hades with it. Secondly, there are whole federal departments need to be eliminated. Huge bureacracies exist that do nothing and they waste hunfpdreds of billions--you them, you hate them!--education, energy and commerce come to mind. Thirdly--and here's the tough one--unearned entitlements have to be capped. Raising taxes without cutting spending on guns and butter wont work--we are in danger of destroying our currency Weimar Republic style with the threat of hyper-inflation looming. I doubt if Bud would agree with me on this because I believe he thinks the old dismal science of economic rules no longer applies to the macro-economy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates square off at forum

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Carli takes oath, now Vacaville’s 14th police chief

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Huge jump in Solano median home price

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

Donate a car, help build a house

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Solano DA hosts workshop to fight human trafficking

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield town hall on crime delayed

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

Railway museum offers wine-tasting rides

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
 
Drugs topic of cardiac class

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Weather for April 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

 
Fairfield police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun Police log: April 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Armed robber was never told to report to prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Body of California man who jumped into river found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lost sea lion in California found mile from water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Seabird from Atlantic spotted on Alcatraz

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ex-Bell city leader gets 12 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California delays decision on protecting gray wolf

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Court rules for environmentalists in water fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Governor calls special session on rainy day fund

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Denver police eye 911 response time after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pro-Russian insurgents seize armored vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ferry sinks off South Korea; 6 dead, 290 missing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

In support of Pam Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 7 Comments

 
Parenting demands responsibility

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Let’s stop Fairfield’s future thugs

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

Obamacare news you probably missed

By Martin Schram | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 17, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

.

Living

A lesson in household budgeting

By Chris Erskine | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for April 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Daniel Radcliffe on why New York audiences rock

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Alicia Silverstone out with book ‘Kind Mama’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on ‘The View’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ailing Malcolm Young taking break from AC/DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Disney Channel’s ‘Jessie’ breaks romantic ground

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Vacaville’s Peralta to wrestle at San Francisco State

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Angels beat A’s 5-4 on Iannetta’s HR in 12th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

MEL, SCAC tangle in hoops all-star games

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Sharks take goalie questions into rematch vs Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Crawford’s 41 points leads Warriors over Nuggets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

IndyCar driver Saavedra fined $10K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sandoval’s single lifts Giants past Dodgers, 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Officer: Sharper’s DNA found on 1 Arizona victim

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Spieth ready for more after Masters success

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Backup QB Matt Flynn returns to Packers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sidney Rice agrees to terms with Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodwin helps Suns to 104-99 win over Kings in finale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Yellen: Fed stimulus still needed for job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Bank of America posts loss, hurt by legal charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Google’s 1Q earnings disappoint as ad prices slip

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9